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Maiya & Musui ReVisited: Celebrating Solidarity and Hope in the works of K.S. Radhakrishna

One of India's best-known contemporary sculptors K.S. Radhakrishnan blends old school sculptural process with a new sensibility bringing to Indian sculpting a sense and technique that is not common. His sculptures are at once intimate as well as universal in their appeal. The sculptures shown in this exhibition are brimming with dance, drama, and performance - his delicate human forms are awe-inspiring. Created with bronze, each of the sculptures portrays the human form in all its glory. Radhakrishnan adopts neither a referential, self-consciously avant-garde approach nor a derivatively tribal folk style; instead, his style seems to spring from the form he seeks to convey, and uniquely suits its subject.

Radhakrishnan whose works have transcended borders and boundaries studied sculpture under Sarbari Roy Choudhuri and Ramkinkar Baij. His personification of the character 'Maiya' and 'Musui' is his most fascinating aspect, characterizations that evolve from the anonymous to the personal so that his works have an identity beyond just art.

Radhakrishnan's thinly fluted, and elongated figures that create a sense of intimacy through his chosen theme of the figure in motion, often swaying or mid-step in dance. They are iconic and votive-seeming but ultimately connect to the ordinary man’s innermost desires of leaping up in joy. At first glance, His works appear to be addressing the issue of mass migration, however, the underlying ambiguity of this familiar narrative takes the viewer by surprise. Magnifying the human effort the minuscule drifters are blown up; they hold hands as they spiral into fierce whirlwinds. In the midst of such fury, it is the human spirit that dominates the scene rather than the violent waves.

This compassionate glance, even if ephemeral, allows in art a moment where the misfortuned masses and the viewers celebrate solidarity and hope. In the cataclysmic visions of humanity falling off the edge yet holding on to each other Radhakrishnan subtly suffuses the familiar narrative of hopelessness with a rather enigmatic empathy.

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